US Expands Export Restrictions on Nvidia and AMD AI Chips to Middle East
The US government has expanded its restrictions on the export of high-performing artificial intelligence (AI) chips manufactured by Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) to certain countries in the Middle East. This move is part of the US government’s efforts to control the export of sensitive technologies and safeguard national security.
In a regulatory filing, Nvidia stated that in the third quarter of fiscal 2023, the US government announced license requirements that impact the export of its A100 and H100 integrated circuits, as well as any other systems incorporating these chips, to China and Russia. The company further revealed that in the second quarter of fiscal year 2024, the US government informed them of additional licensing requirements for a subset of A100 and H100 products destined for certain customers and regions, including some Middle Eastern countries.
Similarly, AMD also received a letter with similar restrictions. However, both Nvidia and AMD have stated that they do not expect these additional export restrictions to have an immediate material impact on their financial results. Nvidia is actively working with the US government to address the matter, while AMD has reported that the restrictions will not significantly affect its revenue.
It is worth noting that last year, the US government announced various restrictions on exports, including measures to limit China’s access to certain semiconductor chips manufactured using US equipment. In August of this year, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to regulate US investments in China, focusing on technology areas such as semiconductors, microelectronics, quantum information technologies, and AI.
In response to these restrictions, several Chinese companies hurriedly placed orders for Nvidia chips worth $5 billion, as these chips are crucial for developing generative AI systems. However, Nvidia has affirmed that it has sold alternative products in China that are not subject to the license requirements, such as the A800 and H800 offerings.
China is expected to approve the first batch of generative AI services for public rollout this week, with companies like Baidu likely to be included. Despite the export restrictions, Nvidia remains optimistic about its future prospects and is committed to working with the US government to find a suitable resolution.
These developments underscore the ongoing geopolitical dynamics and concerns over the transfer of advanced technologies. While the export restrictions are aimed at protecting national interests, they also have implications for global technology collaborations and advancements.